Pro photographer with iPhone vs beginner with expensive DSLR

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by geniereddick, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. Rick50

    Rick50 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Haven't you people learned anything?
    It's not the gear or the photographer.
    It starts with the available light........... :)


     
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  2. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think the difference between good/great gear and intermediate gear in the hands of a beginner makes no significant difference.

    I think crappy gear in the hands of anybody sucks and can actually be frustrating roadblock to good photography, especially in situations when the beginner is on their own with no mentor of outside help.

    I think a pro level photographer can work around crappy gear. Crappy gear in the hands of a beginner is more frustrating than useful. Crappy gear in the hands of a pro is more of a challenge than frustration.

    I think a photog with pro level skills can take advantage of good gear to where gear does/will make a significant difference in image impact and an increase in consistency/ease of capture (keepers).

    Top level gear in the hands of a pro will make the image capture easier, their images better and elevate the keeper rate.
    Top level gear in the hands of a beginner will make little difference in ease of capture, image impact and keeper rate.

    But ... if a beginner is serious about photography and has a passion and drive to get better. There is nothing wrong with starting out with good gear (especially lenses) and grow into the equipment. One can save a lot of money by skipping the intermediary steps of gear acquisition.
     
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  3. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    it's still incredibly narrow shooting macro. Have you seen the focus stacking feature of the D850? it's pretty clever.

    Even if I was the most skilled pro in the world, I wouldn't want to use an iPhone to shoot a wedding.

    If anything give me a Pixel phone or Samsung :p
     
  4. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I mosty ignore these types of videos because I realize their REAL purpose is NOT to educate you... the camera buyers... but rather to DRIVE MORE TRAFFIC that Youtube page. A great way to do that is to generate controversy. In that vein... did I get any education from this video? The answer is no, zip, nada... he had nothing to offer that I (and I suspect most others here) did not already know.

    Generally the photographer's skill wins ... but there are some caveats.

    The primary reason the photographer usually (but not always) wins is because for any given opportunity there are decisions to be made and a skilled photographer will probably make better decisions. Sometimes those decisions are based on shooting something in a different way, different place, or different lighting -- basically because they understand the strengths and limitations of the gear.

    Assuming the camera offers the photographer enough control, the photographer is going to be able to take advantage of that and it will give the photographer the advantage.

    But part of the point of having a camera with interchangeable lenses (or other accessories), is that no single lens is the best at everything. While you can find shots where it doesn't matter which camera is used, you can also find shots where the camera that doesn't let you swap lenses becomes limited. At that point, the camera that offers more versatility wins provide two conditions (1) the photographer knows that they should change equipment for that type of shot and (2) the photographer actually has the equipment available.

    You don't get the advantage of having interchange lenses if you only own one lens. You get an advantage if you own a couple of lenses... but at some point you still encounter shots where none of your lenses is ideal. Kit lenses are typically designed with "affordability" as a key feature... these aren't go to be low-focal ratio zooms.

    I noticed the photographer had the iPhone 7s with the dual camera and used it's special "portrait mode" feature (and used that HEAVILY). Most phones don't have such a mode but the idea (for those who haven't seen or used it) is that it uses both cameras... the main lens focuses on the subject, the second lens deliberately de-focuses the background, and the camera software basically photo-shops the two together (the background blur isn't actually from the lens lens that photographed the subject.)

    I ALSO noticed that even the "pro" photographers photos with the Sony DSLR weren't quite as good as the iPhones... but in particular I noticed rather poor bokeh quality. Either the lens didn't offer a low focal ratio (I don't think he mentioned which lens it was) -or- the photographer just didn't select a low focal ratio (and that might be deliberate to help him make his point.) But certainly had he swapped to a portrait lens (e.g. an 85mm f/something-really-low) then the Sony should have offered a substantially better background blur quality.
     
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  5. voyageaimer

    voyageaimer TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure that this topic is much of a debate... it is very similar to be being the best/fastest driver (vehicles are another one of my obsessions :p ). You could have the best car with the worst driver, be beat by a great driver in a mediocre car...skill usually trumps equipment (to an extent).

    The same goes for the cellphone vs DSLR. I don't think that a true beginner would see major immediate differences between using the two. Can a phone camera compete against a good DSLR on it's own? IMO absolutely not, and I have taken thousands of pictures with my various phone cameras. I've only been using a DSLR for a few years, but they definitely do not shoot or produce the same images. I'm able to take good shots with my iPhone 7 Plus but the DSLR blows them away.
     
  6. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  7. voyageaimer

    voyageaimer TPF Noob!

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    I didn't read all 31 pages (lol) but are they talking amateur as in he/she hasn't been declared a "professional" driver or an actual amateur with little to no great driving ability? Either way, that is a find example that skill/ability will concur a better machine... the best car is still only capable of what the driver can produce.
     
  8. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Emilio is an amateur with great ability -- comes from the miata world. came in and put the smack down, was fastest in the evo x, then got to opportunity to drive their z06 as a reward, and was faster in that than the pros. pros made lots of excuses.

     
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  9. geniereddick

    geniereddick TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your feedback Tim. I appreciate the in-depth comment. I would, however, respectfully disagree with you on a couple points. For one, I wouldn't totally write-off this video and others as simply driving traffic because I personally, along other friends of mine, have learned a ton of info about photography from YouTube. I checked out other videos from this guy and other YouTubers... I found some very educational stuff on there.

    Second, I don't think the purpose of this particular video was so much to "educate" as it was to "demonstrate"... and for me, personally, I think it demonstrated its point quite well.

    Notice the difference in location choices by both photographers. I think the reason you perceive the iPhone photos to be better is because of the location choice made by the "pro" versus the beginner. He chose a location that clearly has more visual appeal, which shows his experience. He also chose a location with better light, which shows he understands the importance of light. Not to mention, he totally debunked the notion that the beginner simply chose a bad location because when he went to the beginner's location with the same gear, IMO, he blew him away in terms of composition, mood, emotion, and the overall variety of shots captured.

    Btw he did note what lenses were used on the title cards (twice).

    Those are just some of my overall thoughts.
     
  10. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    this just in: all cameras take pictures.
     
  11. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    the real issue will be "level" of beginner vs "level" of pro....and the situation you put them in.
    for things to be fair, you have to have them shoot the same location. letting them pick different locations and situations defeats the entire purpose of comparing experience levels with different gear.
    if the point is "does gear matter", then all other aspects should be equal. if not, the test is not valid.

    a beginner that has never held a DSLR before vs a pro with a lot of experience?
    or a beginner that has had their DSLR for 6 months and spent every waking moment learning about it and practicing?

    put the beginner and the pro in a well lit environment with close subjects and the biggest issues might well be placement and background choice, making experience more important.
    put them in a low lit area with subjects far away, and suddenly the gear takes on a more important role in getting the shot. all the experience in the world cannot offset a tiny sensor, poor low light performance, and strictly digital zoom.

    this debate has been going on since the camera was invented.
    the truth is that experience and talent only get you so far. true, a "pro" can do more with less than someone inexperienced, but when conditions are crap you simply need the better gear. there are times where you NEED the higher FPS, the better AF module, the faster glass, the longer lens...
    thats what the experience really gets you, knowing exactly what you need, when you need it, and when you can get away with less.
     
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  12. goodguy

    goodguy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This video is TOTALLY pointless and stupid, what we saw was the difference between a good photographer and a poor photographer.
    It was a skill match and not equipment.
    Also the test was conducted in ideal conditions where the tiny cell phone sensor limitations is not coming into effect.
    This is very much bogus test.
    Take 2 equal level photographers and give them a cell phone vs pro gear and then the test will be more accurate, also shoot in different lighting scenario, plus use accessories, what ever is and can work with each camera.
    Try to do Astrophotography with cell phone, try to shoot a wedding with a cell phone, try to shoot wildlife or sports with a cell phone, try to use cell phone in ANY low light situation.
    Cell phones are great for the simple fact that they are small and handy but as a camera they are SUPER limiting in MANY scenarios.
    They can produce good images if there is plenty of light but in limited lighting condition you have a big problem, landscape if you want to pull shadows then forget about it, cell phones has no DR.
    Bottom line this is played again and again and again on youtube trying to compare cell phone to s good camera and as a guy who owns cell phones mid level and pro level cameras I gotta tell you I don't touch my cell phone camera!!!
    Yes it can produce nice pictures in some scenarios but its Soooo limiting that when I need to take a picture I do that with a good camera.
     

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